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BIGBADBLUE
06-11-2006, 11:09 PM
What a bad day ... first my boat does not start and I lock my keys in my truck ... arrrgggg!!!!

I need some advise and help. I have a 1994 PS205 with TB350. I am getting frustrated with the electrical system and dead batteries. Here is the deal:

- Last year - Boat did not start. Initially dealer said nothing wrong. Happened again and the replaced the alternator as they thought it might be intermittent issue. Happened again and they finnaly replaced the battery and issue seemed to go away. Volt gauge last year was ready between 13 - 13.5 V

- Today - Dead battery after not running it for 2 weeks. Charged the battery and ran fine. Did not shut it off in fear of being towed in. Gauge reading 11.5 - 12.0 V.

Can it just be a another bad battery? I did not have my multimeter with me so I could not test the alternator. Could it be something is draining the battery? Can the gauge be that far off? HELP ... this is really getting frustrating as I am not the best electric person in the world. ANy ideas?

jimmer2880
06-12-2006, 05:57 AM
Do you know if your dealer stuck an ampmeter on your system to see which component was pulling the juice? Or - did he just guess & swap out a $300.00 alternator?Get someone to put an amp meter on & figure out what is killing your battery. A Volt meter won't be good enough.

bigmac
06-12-2006, 08:16 AM
I've had this happen twice over the years - both times it turned to be a defective float switch on the automatic bilge pump It kept the pump running even after the boat was switched off, and was too quiet to hear. The last time it killed the battery so that when I recharged it, it wouldn't take a full charge and wouldn't hold it.

JimN
06-12-2006, 08:32 AM
I agree, a current draw test needs to be done- it's the only definitive way to find the problem unless it's intermittent.

The 11.5-12V is a problem, though. That sounds like it could be the alternator and running it with a dead battery puts a lot of stress on it. It may still be something else, though. Check the battery posts, motor ground and cable clamps to make sure they're clean and tight.

BIGBADBLUE
06-12-2006, 09:55 AM
Thanks guys. Sounds like this may be over my head.

Although to see a current draw, can I just insert an amp meter at the positive battery terminal? Then I get lost to figure on how to isolate where it is coming from.

nashvillematt
06-12-2006, 10:19 AM
I had this happen to my 225VRS and found an easy way to fix it.....Perko Switch. After using this, I have NEVER had a dead battery. Little things over time draw current (Clock, Amplifer remote, bilge)

$30 and peace of mind
MS

JimN
06-12-2006, 10:48 AM
The Perko switch still doesn't address the basic problem. It works, but it doesn't fix it.

BigBidBlue- The ammeter needs to be able to handle at least 10 Amps, too. For this kind of problem, a clamp type meter won't usually be accurate enough since they're made for heavier current draw. Yes, connect it in series with the batter + cable (remove the + cable and connect one ammeter lead to the battery with the other connected to the cable) and read it. If it shows about 330mA, it sounds like the rectifier in the alternator is bad. If it's one of the accessories, you can remove the individual fuses to see if it stops. Do them one-by-one and re-insert the fuse if no improvement is seen.

BIGBADBLUE
06-12-2006, 10:58 AM
Thank Jim ... I have a fluke that will handle it.

What should the output of the alternater read ... 14.5?

JimN
06-12-2006, 11:03 AM
On the high end, yes. At rest, about 13 V +/- .5 V.

If you do see the 330mA I mentioned, remove the charging lead from the alternator and if it stops, the rectifier is probably shot. May still be under warranty and you can have it rebuilt. You don't need to replace it with a new one.

BIGBADBLUE
06-12-2006, 02:35 PM
Thanks Jim!!!! I will let you know how it goes!!!!

BIGBADBLUE
06-14-2006, 11:40 AM
OK - I am going out to the boat tomorrow to check it out and put my ammeter on it. realisticall how after I shut everything down what should it read if all is good. Ideally zero but there is probably some draw that is ok. Am I wrong on this one?

JimN
06-14-2006, 07:22 PM
If there's no memory lead on the stereo, it should read almost zero- maybe a few milliamps. The memory lead is typically around 15mA. If you read appreciably more, you have something wrong. If you see about 330 mA, it would probably be the bridge rectifier in the alternator. Remove the charging lead to check that as the cause.

BIGBADBLUE
06-14-2006, 10:47 PM
Thanks again Jim. I will let you know how it goes and what I find.

I Love this board!!!! I Sometimes wonder why MC would pay for it but I really understand now. It creates much more of a community around MC and creates loyalty.

6ballsisall
06-14-2006, 11:04 PM
What a bad day ... first my boat does not start and I lock my keys in my truck ... arrrgggg!!!!

I need some advise and help. I have a 1994 PS205 with TB350. I am getting frustrated with the electrical system and dead batteries. Here is the deal:

- Last year - Boat did not start. Initially dealer said nothing wrong. Happened again and the replaced the alternator as they thought it might be intermittent issue. Happened again and they finnaly replaced the battery and issue seemed to go away. Volt gauge last year was ready between 13 - 13.5 V

- Today - Dead battery after not running it for 2 weeks. Charged the battery and ran fine. Did not shut it off in fear of being towed in. Gauge reading 11.5 - 12.0 V.

Can it just be a another bad battery? I did not have my multimeter with me so I could not test the alternator. Could it be something is draining the battery? Can the gauge be that far off? HELP ... this is really getting frustrating as I am not the best electric person in the world. ANy ideas?

Check to see if you have a draw on the battery with the key off and nothing on. I had this same problem with my 95' the alternator worked fine to charge the boat when running but the bridge rectifier was bad (known problem on this year original alternator) and drained the battery. If it's that you'll get several amps drawing in the battery.

6ballsisall
06-14-2006, 11:11 PM
Also to add to my above post. How I determined my problem was solely the alternator/ bridge rectifier was having my leads testing amperage at the battery terminals while showing a draw and then pulling the red wire off the alternator. After doing that no more draw. Voila!!

Good luck dude!

BIGBADBLUE
06-17-2006, 10:53 PM
Same issue when I arrived at boat: Battery dead. I charged it, got it started and took my reading and here is what I found with ammeter:

Everything off: 15mA
Alt Cable Off: 12mA
Stereo out of system: 19mA

Voltage Measurments:
Voltage at Battery Engine Off: 12.8
Battery Engine at idle: 13.9
Alternator (Charging to Ground) at idle: 13.6
Alternator at 2000 RPM's: 13.9

15mA is not enought to kill a battery is it? Voltages look like alternator is charging. Right? Boat ran great all day Friday and Saturday. Could it be a battery? Anything else i should be looking at? Ideas?

6ballsisall
06-17-2006, 11:03 PM
Sounds like a JimN question to me!

FrankSchwab
06-17-2006, 11:51 PM
Well, your battery is probably rated around 100 Amp-Hours. Going back way too many years to high school physics tells me that a 0.015 Amp (15 milliamp) draw will drain the battery in
100 / 0.015 = 6666 hours, or roughly 9 months.

So, if there isn't an intermittent short, it doesn't look like you have an excessive current draw with the key off, but you may want to disconnect the battery over the winter.

/frank

Brent
06-18-2006, 09:02 AM
If The Boat is not in the water when not in use, disconnect the battery & see if it holds a the charge till next week. I seem to remember Andrč having had a issue like this & it turned out to be a light inside the bow storage area never turning off.

BIGBADBLUE
06-20-2006, 08:03 AM
I will do that next week. But if something was on I would see that it drawing amps when I had the ammeter hooked up. Unless it is intermittent. arrrrrgggg

rektek
06-20-2006, 08:06 AM
my 2000 maristar [120hrs] stopped charging recently, reading battery voltage only at the dash. 15 minutes of voltage drop testing and I found a bad B+ ring terminal at the back of the alternator, 90% broken and arching but still attached, in fact the break was under the shrink tubing hiding very nicely.

there was not enough stress relief in the cable harness going towards the alternator causing this break. after replacing the terminal I ended up loosening the cable clamps and adding some slack.

bikeman
07-07-2006, 11:01 PM
same thing happened to me two weeks ago. I had resigned it as a bad alernator and while I was looking at how to pull it noticed the two leads off the back were both barely connected - rigged them back up and off we went. This board is a great community for the DIY'er isn't it?